Public Health

Articles, books, statistics, how to cite references, and more information about the multidisciplinary field of public health.

Find Journal Articles, News, Conference Papers, and More

Save your time! Use these search techniques:
  • Put quotation marks around PHRASES (two or more words), so that the words are searched together
    --- Example: "chicken pox"
  • Put an asterisk at the end of words, so that you get all of the word endings
    --- Example: high* = high, highs, higher, highest
  • Think of alternate spellings or synonyms
    --- Example: healthcare or "healthcare"; malfunction or failure
  • Start by putting your search words in the Title. If you get nothing, you can take them out of the Title and move them to "Anywhere."
Before you get to the specific information such as articles or statistics, get an overview of your topic:

1) Medical information for consumers in (some of whose data come from Office of Minority Health at DHHS)

2) Encyclopedias -- For example, here are online public-health-related encyclopedias, 2015+, including Gale Encyclopedia of Public Health (2020; 2nd ed.)

3) Go to PubMed and use MeSH, which is the excellent thesaurus and also has definitions
(See the PubMed/EMBASE page on this guide for how to get PubMed citations into RefWorks.)

4) Look for REVIEW ARTICLES. In most databases, just add the word "review" to your TITLE words.
In PubMed :

  • Do your search
  • On the left, under "Article types," click "Review"


5) Force Google to find reports and other info from U.S. government sites -- add this to your search:
(Anything in the list with "ncbi" in it is a PubMed article; you can exclude those by adding    -ncbi   [note the minus sign].)

6) CQ Researcher for background and summaries of topics -- Make sure to notice dates!

Finding Information about Everything

Use journal articles to get:

  • a narrow or specific part of your topic
  • up-to-date information

1. Library home page --> Databases

2.  Click "Browse list of databases"


3. Choose a subject to see the databases with information about it.


4. In each list, start with the databases under CORE -- they are the best and most relevant 

  • For a description about the database's topics, click "More Info" next to the database name:

Who has cited this article, and therefore may be doing this kind of work?

You can find out by doing regular searches. But if you have found a great article that is about your topic, you can also see who cited THAT article.

For example, if you found a great article from 2017, you can see what other articles cited that article since it was written. If your favorite article was cited by someone else, there is a good chance that the citing author (that is, the person who mentioned your favorite article) is doing similar work. (Remember that newer articles will not have had time to be cited by other authors.)

Databases that tell you who cited papers are:

  1. Web of Science -- (see screen shots below)
  2. Scopus -- In your list of search results, go to SORTED BY on the far right, and choose "Cited by (highest)" or "Cited by (lowest)"
  3. Google Scholar -- Click on "Cited by [number]" under the citation
    (NOTE: Google Scholar's number will always be too high, because Scholar adds additional things such as lecture notes and Powerpoint slides.)

In Web of Science, choose "Cited References," and add the information about the paper you want to see cited ("Cited Work" is the JOURNAL title, not the article). You can also add a row if you want to just search with a few words from the ARTICLE title.

Click SEARCH, and click the number under "Citing Articles" to see the articles that have cited this article:

How To Cite Sources
  • The library's Citing Sources guide gives information about the three main reference styles plus some others

  • You will be using AMA (American Medical Association) 11th edition (2019), which is the most recent:

  • NOTE:  Citing Sources --> More Styles --> AMA tab tells you that for in-text citations, AMA style uses numbers in the text, and the bibliography should be listed in the order that the references were used.
    --- To make sure that you don't lose track of which reference goes with which number, Sue suggests that you use "author/date" throughout the paper. The very last thing to do you do is to change author/date into numbers, and create your bibliography in the order used.

For Writing Help

More about Literature Reviews (in this guide)



RefWorks is the citation manager that is supported by JHU. It is free for you.

Citation managers let you:

  • export citations FROM databases INTO the manager
  • add the full text if you wish
  • put your citations into "Projects," folders, subfolders, and use tags
  • print out a bibliography in whatever style you want
To use RefWorks, log in here.
  • Step-by-step handout on how to use RefWorks
  • Video tutorials
  • NEVER search from within RefWorks; always search from within the database itself

Simple example of using folders to help you organize your paper ("My Great Idea"). The three dots in yellow is where you find "rename," "subfolder," etc.